I grew up watching westerns on a black-and-white television, including Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, High Chaparral, Rawhide and Big Valley—to name just a few.
Often, the good guys were passing through some place when the bad guys would cause trouble, pick a fight, set an ambush or shoot someone. The good guys weren’t looking for trouble, but if it came their way, they’d face it head-on.
Trouble clobbered the good guys while they were herding cattle on long drives. Chasing stallions through narrow canyons. Riding shotgun on top of stagecoaches. Leading wagon trains across the open prairie. Mending fences on sprawling ranches.
As followers of Jesus, we’re “just passing through”, too. This earth isn’t our home. We’re headed elsewhere. We’re on a journey. One day, we’ll leave this planet for a better place.
That’s why Paul urges us to stay focused on our eternal home. He writes, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). With great anticipation, we’re watching and waiting for Jesus’ return.
Until that day, we’re pilgrims sailing to a new land. Nomads caravanning through a parched desert. Sojourners traveling on a long trip. Citizens belonging to another kingdom.
That’s why Peter exhorts us to think differently and live distinctly in a world of dark depravity. He writes, “I urge you, as aliens and strangers in this world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
We’re called to live as holy people who speak what’s true—when nobody else does. We’re called as holy people to stand for what’s right—when it’s unpopular, risky and inconvenient.
The martyred missionary C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” He believed that what we say and do for Christ has enduring value forever.
That’s the essence of living with an eternal perspective and focusing on what really matters—and that’s why we live to exalt our King and influence others.
So, why is it so difficult to think and live that way?
In a nutshell, we think far too much of this life and far too little about eternity. We get distracted by lesser things and grow indifferent to more important things.
That’s why we must tweak our perspective, reset our priorities and focus our eyes to see and follow Jesus, our Savior and King. That’s why we must think like pilgrims and live like nomads, being confident that we’re just passing through to our eternal home.
That’s also how more of today’s minutes will count for eternity!